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Chris Kavan's Movie Reviews (3250)

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I, Frankenstein 
Edgy Frankenstein Falls Short
2/4 stars

The recent trend in updating classic stories (be they children's fairy tales or classic novels) and turning them into action-oriented "edgy" films has been met with little success. I, Frankenstein, unfortunately, continues that trend. Coming off as a poor-man's Underworld (with demons and angelic gargoyles in place of vampires and werewolves) - it strikes up neither a good narrative nor a particularly well-rounded character study.

The classic Frankenstein tale is given a rushed opening about the classic story we all know - and then goes in to a crash course on the whole demons vs. gargoyles battle and why our monster man is so important - to both sides. But, of course, "Adam" as he is dubbed, goes off on his own to travel the world - alone - not caring for the human race (as they care little for him). Then suddenly we fast-forward to present day and everything is the same - demons are still after him, gargoyles are still trying to protect the world. But we add in science - as it has only taken many decades to reproduce Dr. Frankenstein's theory of breathing life into the dead. But of course things would be much easier if they had the good doctor's original notes - and it doesn't take too much imagination to figure out where things are going.

The problem with I, Frankenstein is that none of the characters are fleshed out - yes, I understand this is mostly action - but some extrapolation would be appreciated. Instead we get a brooding, somewhat bored-looking Aaron Eckhart - scars aside, he comes off as more emo than menacing. We get Yvonne Strahovski playing the lead scientist and her good looks can't breath life into an entirely generic "female" supposed love interest. Miranda Otto is little better as the lead gargoyle queen. In fact, the only actor who felt like he was giving it a little more effort was Bill Nighy as the evil demon prince. Granted, he always plays a great kind of smug, evil persona - so it wasn't much of a stretch, but at least he looked like he was trying.

For a movie that was sold on its action it was a bit CGI heavy for my taste. It was also neutered by a PG-13 rating. Instead of spurting demon blood we get death by fire - and it feels a bit too lazy. Sure, it looks great in slow motion - but after the tenth or so time, it does get old. Considering how shiny and sharp all those angelic weapons look, I think a little blood might have helped up the action quotient. But while it may have made things slightly more interesting, it wouldn't turn the film around.

As it stands, I, Frankenstein is simply average all around. Story, action, characters - while nothing is completely terrible, nothing stands out, either. It reminds me of Legion - a film I remember watching at one point but was so unremarkable, I have trouble recalling much about it today. And the same can be said about I, Frankenstein.


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